McCann Tech gets season-opening baseball win at Mount Everett
SHEFFIELD -- Eli Holland's afternoon began with uncertainty in a driving rain storm.
It ended with the McCann Tech sophomore soaking up the sun after tossing a one-hitter against the defending Western Massachusetts Division III champs.
"I didn't even know I was going to be starting pitching today," Holland said. "It worked out. ... It feels excellent. I'm very proud of my team and proud of myself."
Holland's calm work on the mound powered the Hornets to a 5-0 win at Mount Everett Regional High School. Coach Pat Ryan said he wasn't sure who he was going send to the mound until shortly before the game. The coach made a good choice.
The Eagles, who last played in the 2012 state championship game, didn't get their first hit of 2013 until the sixth inning when Sage Angell singled to right field.
"I just don't think we were ready for him, focused enough," Angell said. "It wasn't like he wasn't hittable. I just don't think we were focused."
McCann (1-0) feasted on six Eagle errors, spoiling a 10-strikeout day from Everett starter Erik Derwitsch. The Hornets (0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first with Joe Gwozdz scoring after reaching on an error. Gwozdz scored again in the seventh, part of four runs McCann put up in the last two innings. Holland had two hits and helped his cause with a run in the sixth.
Mount Everett (0-1) made things interesting in the bottom of the first, drawing two walks and getting Angell to third. Holland calmly responed with one of his 11 strikeouts to end the inning.
"I was a little nervous because the footing, as you can see, was bad," said Hornets coach Pat Ryan. "He came in after the first inning and said he adjusted based on the footing. He did a wonderful job for us."
Holland sat down 14 in a row in progressively worsening conditions. At one point a mix of rain, hail and snow turned the field into a snow globe. Holland just kept mowing down Eagles.
Everett couldn't help its cause, either at the plate or in the field. It made for another slow start to the season for coach Jesse Carpenter. The Eagles won just two of their first six games last year before making it all the way to the state final. By the time the sun came out after the game, the coach was pondering how Everett could put together a similar run this season.
"First game out, hopefully those are first-game jitters," Carpenter said. "If that's the way we're going to play all year, it's going to be a long season for me. ... It seems like we have this talk every single year. It seems every year we start 2-3, 2-4, 2-5 and then have to claw our way back in."
McCann 5, Everett 0
MC 100 002 2 -- 5 6 0
ME 000 000 0 -- 0 1 6
Eli Holland and Dillon Carr; Erik Derwitsch (6), Zach Fife and Aaron Martin.